*Note -This post is from 11/11/11 and it’s raining again today. I have so many more readers I thought I’d rerun it and take a nap. I still believe every word except the intro. My health is fine and I’m happy. ….. I wake before the alarm but I am not in great spirits. The weather has changed and it is cold. I’m worried about someone I love. My health isn’t as good as it was last year. I wish I had more money saved. Since these were my first thoughts of the morning, my first act is to make a gratitude list.
The first thing I learned in my first 12 Step program 38 years ago was to start my day with a gratitude list. It was a great spiritual practice and I still use it. Since I started, my life has truly turned around and I’ve found that a gratitude list works like magic. It will change my mood almost immediately and I have come to rely upon this simple practice.
Now that I’m a student of Science of Mind, I know that writing a gratitude list is a way of moving my mind as well as lifting my heart with the simple stroke of a pen or touch of the keyboard. It cheers me up to think about things I have instead of things I want. I am happier when I remember to focus on things I love instead of things I worry about. It also sends a direct message to the Infinite Mind of God that I claim more of the good stuff in my life. I accept the best.
Expressing gratitude for the hundred dollars I have in the bank is a much more effective way to build prosperity than praying for the thousand dollars I think I need because the way spiritual laws work is that what I focus on is what I get. When I focus on lack, I get more lack. When I focus with love on the money I have, I will get more love and more money. Expressing gratitude is very effective way to work with the spiritual law of attraction.
The Universal Mind we call God functions on spiritual law. You attract what you are. If you are wrapped in a feeling of doom and gloom about money and your inner refrain is “Not enough” that is the message you are sending to the law of attraction. You are sowing scarcity and it is impossible for you to reap anything but more scarcity. While not everyone understands this, spiritual laws work exactly the same for us all. God does not take a vacation, play favorites or make exceptions.
Never mistake it, making a list of the things you love in your life is a direct prayer to claim more of that good. The best part of all when using gratitude lists is that you don’t have to believe in it or even be hopeful, you just need to make that list. This simple, straightforward spiritual practice does not require any deep intellectual conviction or religious faith. Just about everyone can find something he or she is grateful for, no matter how bleak things look.
I challenge you to make a list of 10 or more things every morning for a month and see how your life improves. You will obviously be more cheerful. That is a psychological fix that will help but a consistent practice of gratitude will do more than cheer you up, it will bring more of what you enjoy into your life. Keep your list simple and honest and it will work well.
My ten things for this morning? 1. The money I currently have in the bank. 2. The distance my loved one has already come. 3. The weather here in San Diego (even on the bad days). 4. My grandson visits today. 5. My coffee is good. 6. My beautiful home. 7. My new novel to read. 8. I’m going to a museum today. 9. My Science of Mind teaching. 10. My prayer partner. … Now that I’ve made that list I’m in a new place of heart and mind and could go on to list another 90, for sure.
How many things can you list that you are grateful for in the next fifteen minutes?
Will you try making a list of ten things you are grateful for every day this week?
Do you live in a bubble? Yes.Yes.Yes. You do live in a bubble of beliefs called consciousness. Your bubble acts as a filter and an attraction device. It draws circumstances and events to you or pushes them away. Your thought bubble is creating your life through the Law of Attraction.
Since you are reading this, you and I are probably have matching bubbles in some ways. For instance, if you are reading this on Facebook, we probably share friends. That means you get a lot of messages filled with sweetness and light, and dare to dream ideas.
My favorite news commentator likes to talk about how that other political party lives in a bubble. She seems certain her life based on “reality” but I’m not so convinced. I love her but I think she’s stuck in an “ain’t it awful” bubble. I watch her because she’s the best there is. Even though she’s a friend on Facebook, I wouldn’t want to live in her bubble.
One of the attractions of Facebook is that you select your friends and control and create your own bubble. I don’t agree with everything that’s posted on my Facebook page but it adds up to positive thinking and I am committed to positive thinking. I like to think life is a bit like Facebook.
I am also committed to changing my thinking and changing my life. Facebook has turned out to be an effective tool for that endeavor. I may get too many photos of cute animals for my taste, but the kitties really are darling. Some of the jokes are corny and others make me laugh out loud. A real laugh out loud is a wonderful thing.
Many people on my Facebook page are old friends and that’s fun. I am communicating with four wonderful people I lost track of years ago. Recently had lunch with someone I sponsored about 20 years ago. I’m also getting to know new people with positive ideas.
I used to think Facebook was a waste of time and it is still low on the time totem pole. I joined because I wanted more readers for my blog and it seemed like an easy way to expand my circle. When I receive a friend request, I check for a New Thought connection and say yes. Now I have 583 friends. Let the circle keep on growing.
Some people are afraid of Facebook because of the weirdos. I’ve found dealing with negative types easy. If someone tries too hard to sell me things, I cut him or her out of my group. Same goes with people who complain constantly. It’s very impersonal. I don’t wrestle with my decision. Out they go!
Facebook has increased my blog readership. I’m getting more comments from readers and I reached my last year goal of 200 subscribers on New Year’s Day. The biggest pay off turns out that to be the kaleidoscope of an inspirational book or DVD that my friendly bubble creates for my personal pleasure.
It feels like a science fiction movie. Imagine opening a book and finding it is filled with new stuff every time you look. It’s always the same only different. I love it – partly because of the delicious illustrations and partly because it enables me to look at old ideas in brand new ways.
I get a lot of illustrations from children’s books of the Victorian age. I’m a sucker for those Beatrice Potter paintings. I also get a lot of magical illustrations from a site called Wyse Woman. There is no way I would ever go to a psychic but I love her entries.
One day several photos of glamorous models, age 80 to 103, showed up. Who could imagine opening your Magical Facebook and seeing some elegant lady with bent shoulders and a cane modeling real clothes you can buy? No – I didn’t buy anything but I was truly charmed. It blew away some of my cobwebs about aging that were stored in my mind corners. It also made me laugh.
Lately, I’ve noticed that I’m spending quite a bit of time on Facebook and I think it is good for me and my spiritual practice. I love those inspirational quotes, pasted on photos of the Dali Lama or Albert Einstein.
Our beliefs, whether we call them mental atmosphere or consciousness or bubble are instrumental how our lives play out. We can learn to control or change those beliefs if we pay attention.
My grandmother said, “Birds of a feather stick together.” I had an eccentric psychiatrist friend who insisted she could diagnose any mental patient within a day by turning him loose in the yard and seeing who he made friends with.I thought she was just being outrageous but when I taught school I found it worked. When a student was transferred to a new school because of discipline problems, he invariably bonded with troublemakers the first day. It was like kids had radar.
One of the first things you hear in 12 Step Programs is, “Stick with the winners.” Soon after, you hear is that geographic cures never work. The great novelist Thomas Hardy said, “Character is fate”. And our pal, RW Emerson said travel was no good because you just carried “ruins to ruins’.
At some level, the idea that we attract who and what we are is an old one. It makes perfect sense to me because I have been studying and teaching Science of Mind and the work of Ernest Holmes, for many years. Our consciousness is the collection of ideas, thoughts, emotions, and beliefs we hold. We form out consciousness from what we have experienced and learned and some of it is deeply personal while other parts are cultural and historical. I personally believe we probably brought some with us at birth.
We want to reinforce the positive parts of our prevailing belief system because that will bring in more positive things to our lives. We can clean up our consciousness and then we will be more loving and hopeful about ourselves and the world. We are confronted with many choices daily and we can steadily move toward the light.
Life is easier and better when we make positive choices. With attention, we can improve any situation. We can begin today by consciously looking at what we are reading, what ideas we are accepting and what friends we are choosing. We have a lot of control because there is a Power For Good working in our lives and we can use it.
Life is not as simple as Facebook but the principle of the Law of Attraction is the same. You and I can control the messages we receive in life by the large and small choices we make today. How shall we spend our time? With whom shall we spend our time? What shall we read? What shall we view on TV? We can choose. Some choices can be new and different.
How do I choose my friends?
What do I want my message to be today?
Is there anything I want to change today?
This is blog #100 so I want to say something profound and here it is… Each of us views the world through our belief-colored glasses. The rosier they are, the happier we will be.
Albert Einstein was right when he said the most important question is whether the universe is friendly.
I feel smarter than Einstein because I know the answer. The world is as friendly as you think it is.
Of course, Einstein was a true genius because he developed the question out of his amazing original thinking. Most of what I know comes from Ernest Holmes, the founder of Religious Science and author of the Science of Mind Textbook. My genius was in recognizing the wisdom of the ages when I saw it.
I didn’t immediately recognize the eternal wisdom, I just hoped it was true. Whatever – I’ve spent the last thirty-eight years testing Holmes’s ideas. As I studied and practiced Science of Mind, my glasses (and my world) turned rosier and rosier. My life is much better than expected and I credit my rosy glasses for that upturn of destiny.
I was definitely headed for trouble when I was younger. I avoided my probable fate as I discarded my dark glasses and deliberately set out to become an optimist. That decision worked wonders for me
I’ve encountered setbacks but Science of Mind has helped me in every area – creativity, prosperity, relationships, and, despite some serious problems, health. During my most recent trip to my lung doctor, he used the phrase, “ridiculously well” several times. So far, I have defied the COPD prognosis and every day is a blessing.
I’ll be 80 in April and when I look at my original beliefs about old age, I see that I’m doing much better than I was taught to expect. I have a purpose, I try new things, enjoy life, learn new skills, make new friends and have good times. I’m certain that I’m here and happy because I’ve been resolute about changing my thinking.
You don’t have to be brilliant or pious to use positive thinking. Anyone can do it. On the other hand, we all encounter surprises and challenges as we move along life’s path. As I’ve aged, I’ve had to learn some new skills and adapt to my new body and changed circumstances.
I still get to control the direction of my change and I still get to be healthy and happy. Change is still possible but change does not come the way it did at thirty. For example, I release that idea of romantic love and accept many good friends. I don’t look for high-paying work but continue to find ways to live well.
The key remains the same – being open to release old beliefs and make room for the new. I am happy to admit that I did quite a bit of releasing and accepting as I travelled along my spiritual path.
Sometimes seems as though I released one negative belief only to discover six more but I kept on keeping on. I remember Dr. Tom Costa saying, “If you are going through Hell, keep moving, don’t pitch your tent.”
I learned that changing consciousness is a lifelong work and I also saw that spiritual principle supported my changes immediately. My journey has been one of release and support and it has been a testing ground for the power of Science of Mind and affirmative prayer.
I can now say, with perfect confidence, that it is absolutely true that what we believe about the nature of reality has a tremendous influence on how our lives spin out. I can also conclude that changing beliefs is complicated because some are cultural and others are deeply embedded in childhood experiences. However, I am certain that we are not really at the mercy of fate or kismet or kharma.
There was a time when most people believed that our life story is created by fate. Fate was usually portrayed as three women at a spinning wheel who twisted the yarn and spun out our story until one of them snipped the thread and it was all over.
You may remember these three fates as the three witches in MacBeth. They also appear together or separately in many fairy tales. That belief system makes us victims of fate. The Three Fates have all the control and life happens at us. Not true!
If we believe in fate then we are victims. It is always hopeless and we are always helpless. Not so! We can train our minds and gain control over much of our lives. We are not victims.
Trained minds touch into the Infinite Possibility, Infinite Power and Infinite Intelligence of God. We say, there is a power for good and you can use it. That is a shorthand description of the wisdom of the ages.
The Master Teacher, Jesus said, “As you believe, so it shall be done unto you.”
About 400 years later, the Greek philosopher Plutarch said, What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. He was speaking as if he were a quantum physicist only he said it 2500 years earlier.
In between the early Christians, ancient Greeks, and modern quantum physics, I found the teachings of the Asian masters by way of hippie gurus such as Alan Watts. Among many other things, Watts said, “Reality is only a Rorschach ink-blot, you know”.
I fell in love with the idea of personal freedom and the ability to change my destiny in the Sixties. My early journey included Tarot cards, booze and acting out characters from old movies. For a while there, I really thought I was Sadie Thompson.
Eventually, I turned to a serious study of Science of Mind and I found Truth in the works of Ernest Holmes. He was a great synthesizer. He said, “Borrowing knowledge of reality from all sources, taking the best from every study, Science of Mind brings together the highest enlightenment of the ages.”
In retrospect, my life is living proof of the practical wisdom of Science of Mind. I share it because it is not theoretical but my very real experience.
In the early Eighties, I began to really soak up the wisdom teaching. I took classes, read books, listened carefully and I experimented with positive thinking. My world got lighter and brighter almost immediately. Over the years, I changed my mind about nearly everything. Somewhere along the road, I discovered I live in a friendly universe.
What about you? Do you live in a friendly universe? Or is it full of lions and tigers and bears?
If your life-load seems too heavy, you can begin with some simple steps. First, try gratitude. Nothing greases the wheels of life as quickly. An attitude of gratitude is a marvelous change agent. Try it – it works!
Then begin accepting more. When someone gives you a compliment, say thanks instead of arguing. If they want to take you to lunch, accept the invitation and have fun. Take the good things that come your way and enjoy them without a struggle.
Gratitude and acceptance are perfect ways to begin your own experiments with Truth teaching. Dr. Holmes uses many names for God and the one I love is Divine Givingness. Open up to the gifts of life now!
Spiritual laws are always working. Put on your rose colored glasses and celebrate this hundredth blog post with me. Use Science of Mind ideas about reality to prove the wisdom of the ages with your own life story. Create a rosy future for yourself. What have you got to lose?
Do I expect the best?
Am I usually grateful?
Am I good at accepting?